Doing things you like is not a waste of time

I tend to ignore doing things I like. Many times I feel it’s a complete waste of time to do things such as:

  • Playing games
  • Reading books that aren’t about business or technical
  • Going for a run / walk
  • Being with my family
  • In-line skating
  • Dating
  • Going for a coffee with a friend
  • Veg out on the sofa watching television
  • etc.

I think about these tasks as non-productive, time wasters, things that won’t help me progress towards my goal or grow my business and I conclude these must be dispensables. Some of those thoughts go along the lines of:

  • “a person of my age shouldn’t be doing that”
  • “a person with my responsibilities shouldn’t be in-line skating”
  • “playing games is a waste of time”
  • “watching TV is for people that don’t want to achieve what I want to achieve”
  • “if you want to earn as the top 1% you have to act like the top 1%”
  • “I don’t have the time”
  • “I don’t have the money”
  • etc.

This particular thought pattern has led me to avoid doing a lot of things I enjoy doing in exchange for a bunch of things I can’t remember anymore :-( Things that seemed important at the time to pursue but that didn’t produce any worthy results in the long term.

Ultimately this has led me numerous times to a place of exhaustion, apathy and boredom.

Back in the university I used to do many of the work assignments with the same partner. We worked well together but had somewhat different personalities. On the day after a deadline or an exam I would always be stressed out and wanting to work more hours, study more, do more to fight the anxiety and maybe increase my self-confidence. On the other hand my good friend would always recommended we watch a good movie, enjoy a good night of sleep and call it a day. The difference in perspectives wasn’t because he had studied more or because he wasn’t as anxious but rather because he had a different strategy. By doing something he liked (e.g. watching a movie) he allowed himself to relax and enjoy thus preserving and enhancing his abilities the next day.

You see, playing games on the Playstation is not a waste of time..
Reading a book that isn’t about business or technical is not a waste of time..

Allowing yourself to have fun, relaxing and enjoying is crucial to preserve and enhance your abilities.